Posts tagged ‘ctu’

Budget, Pensions, CTU – where is your head at right now?

Was talking with someone today about the CPS budget and potential CTU strike and whether people’s opinions on this matter have shifted at all over the past year.

On the one hand, I feel like Bernie helped drive some sympathy toward unions overall. He did for me, at least.

On the other hand, I think we’re all more acutely aware of the severe financial issues in CPS and the real impact of increased property taxes.   I was hit especially hard here (am still trying to fight it.)

To summarize, decades ago, CPS kicked the financial can down the road over and over, so to speak. To please the teachers (to make up for screwing them in other ways) the city promised a pension-pick up.  This made sense decades ago (kind of) but didn’t take into account inflation, teacher salaries, and longevity.

As a result, the pension burden has become massive.   It was promised.  Now we owe it.  But there’s not enough money.

This guy explains it very well:

Short of travelling through time and slapping silly the guys who got us into this mess, it’s difficult to find a way out that feels fair to everyone.

Now the teachers are threating to strike.   I’m unclear if it’s just for the pension or other elements of the contract too.

So what do you think? I know we’d rehashed this discussion every year.  But have your attitudes shifted at all?  Do you support the teachers and their strike?  If not, what is the solution?

September 12, 2016 at 2:31 pm 349 comments

The CTU Contract Negotation Thread

Rock-Em Sock-Em Robots. Never really as fun as it looks.

Since we all know this will keep coming up, here is the official thread to place your comments.  Let’s try NOT to get back to debating whether teachers have a harder or easier job than other people, ok?  I don’t think we’re gonna figure that one out.

There WILL be a lot to say as these negotiations heat up.

Some questions that remain in my mind:

– What is this “fact finding mission” that is part of the process where and independent groups gathers information?  How much/how long can it take?  Obviously waiting for this mission puts the teachers in the less-than-ideal position of voting for a strike smack in the middle of summer.  Isn’t that sort of like an employer having a project due over the weekend?

-Is the CTU really thinking 30% raises are possible?  Are they going to keep saying “NO” to the inclusion of some merit-based (aka Test Scores or AYP?) assessment?

-If the CTU makes a strike vote before the final contract, will they vote AGAIN when it comes out?  Or do they know that since it will VERY likely still contain some level of teachers assessment that the Union will push for a strike?

-Is the teacher assessment concept something that the majority of teachers really object to?  Or is that a union-driven thing?

And a few other topics:

As for the content of this blog, well — that is mainly driven by you guys.  It’s a function of who finds it, reads it, and takes the time to comments.  I know there are many lurkers who don’t comment.  Please join in!  I (personally) enjoy hearing all sides of the argument, although it makes my head spin someday as I keep agreeing with components of each side.

I *like* to see myself as sort of like Jon Stewart (but less funny and less rich) in that I like to point out the absurdities of both sides, even though on some topics I may lean slightly one way or the other.  I like to think I’m always open to taking new facts into account to help form my opinions.  As my mother-in-law says about Democrats vs Republicans, “they’re all clowns.” I think that may be how many of us are feeling as these negotiations heat up.  It’s starting to feel like a typical ugly Chicago political race.

In the next couple weeks I hope to get the reading group started (Ravitch book will be first) and also to finalize the message board so there will be a more organized place to hold information about specific schools and other topics.  I’ll keep you posted on those.

So keep commenting.  Don’t be too mean/personal/paranoid.  I really don’t think that Rahm is using his free time to post on under the psuedonym of Angie.  But that would be really cool if he were.  Hi Rahm!  Same for Karen Lewis.  If you’re reading, Hi Karen!

June 4, 2012 at 12:01 pm 1,397 comments




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